About

Helping people misunderstand each other less is my “thing.” I have accompanied communities experiencing violent conflict in the Middle East and Latin America, coordinated advocacy strategies in Washington, produced content to bridge cultures, and created courses in peace studies. I teach, encourage, and strategize with people to break through social misperceptions and change harmful systems. 

What I'm good at:

Peacebuilding

I teach foundational concepts in conflict resolution and social change informed by years of hands-on experience in grassroots communities and policy advocacy.

Language & Culture

I help people cross cultural barriers when accurate understanding matters. I became fluent in Arabic and Spanish after years living in the Middle East and Latin America.

Media & Communication

I make content that informs and inspires people to be involved in positive change. I use social media as a peacebuilding tool to scale communities' voice and impact.

Project Strategy

I help turn good ideas into reality by connecting the right people, matching capacities to the context, and creating solutions to setbacks when there is no map.

I Believe:

    • All people have equal worth. No exceptions.
    • Beliefs and actions can be bad, but people are not. Working for good means rejecting bad behavior or wrong thinking, not people.
    • We can know a truth, but there is always more to discover. No view is absolute.
    • Nature’s greatest achievement is not our intelligence. It is our compassion. It’s the best tool we have for creating the world we want.

How my beliefs shape my content and engagement:

    • I try to acknowledge the validity of opposing views. 
    • I usually don’t take a political or religious position, but: 
    • I support opinions that desire wellbeing for all people, and I oppose beliefs that desire harm.

What people say:

"Because of John’s strong sense of fairness, I knew that I could trust him with a wide range of knotty political issues. His coworkers respected him as someone they could trust and who cared about their success."
Melanie Greenberg
Humanity United
"John is a uniquely skilled solution finder and one of the most natural leaders I've met. Between his curiosity, desire to learn, and his tenaciousness, John has been an invaluable partner on every project we've collaborated on, from Los Angeles to Africa."
Dave Stone
Yes& Agency
"What’s most important to know about John is that he is reliable––doing exactly what he tells you he will do, and then executing consistently on a level that blows expectations out of the water."
Zack Weil
Contact Light Films
"It is clear John excels at building relationships, and his enthusiastic demeanor is infectious.."
Dr. Lisa Leitz
Chapman University

How I see it:

In 1957-58, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an advice column for Ebony magazine called “Advice for Living.” In response to a question by an African American man who admitted his prejudice against Jews, King said: 

"Men hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they are so often separated from each other."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Advice for Living" 1958

I strongly believe not knowing each other is a major cause of hate, discrimination and harm. Technology has connected us like never before, but it also allows us to filter the reality we prefer. It’s still hard to really see someone else’s world. We continue to misperceive, mistrust and mistreat each other. 

What motivates me is the moment when a person begins to question his pre-judgment of someone else; the shift when resentment quietly gives way to curiosity. My work, my personal calling, is to help people reduce unnecessary suffering by sparking those moments as often as possible.

How can I help you?

filson@johnfilson.com

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